Just over 24 hours before Opening Day 2021, White Sox manager Tony La Russa has made his decision on who will replace Eloy Jimenez in left field.
According to NBC Sports Chicago’s Chuck Garfien, La Russa said that Leury Garcia would be manning the duties in left field for Opening Day. He also added that Zack Collins would be the designated hitter on Thursday.
Garcia, the longest-tenured member of the White Sox roster, has proven his worth as a utility man over the years with the club. Playing infield positions, leading off, and covering all outfield spots as needed has become his calling card, and that won’t be changing this season — at least in the early going.
As for Collins, an impressive spring has his name highlighted within fans’ 40-man roster outlooks as a player who can make significant strides this year. Rick Hahn spoke about Collins’ improvement in defense and game-calling, so both aspects of the former first-round pick’s game should be on display more often in the coming months. Until Yasmani Grandal needs a day off, the Miami graduate will slot into the DH role for this potent White Sox offense.
Garfien followed his initial report with more from La Russa, who informed the media that Andrew Vaughn would DH on Friday in game two of the 162-game stretch. Some thought the Vaughn outfield experiment to round out Spring Training meant there may be a chance he would start the season for the White Sox in left. However, La Russa turns to Garcia for the time being.
The White Sox open up the 2021 season against the Los Angeles Angels in California on Thursday night. Lucas Giolito will get the ball with first pitch scheduled for 9:05 PM CT.
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